DCIS Recurrence Rate Low in Young Women
Study: Young and Old Patients Do Equally Well With Early Form of Breast Cancer
Expert: More Study Needed
Radiation oncologist Jennifer F. De Los Santos, MD, says careful surgical
follow up and the radiation boost may negate the increased risk associated with
young age in patients with DCIS.
But she adds that the number of young DCIS patients in the study was far too
small to conclude that young patients have the same prognosis with aggressive
treatment as older women.
“This was not a randomized study and there were only 24 patients who were 40
years old and younger,” she tells WebMD. “While the findings are provocative
they are in no way conclusive because of these two things.”
De Los Santos says a larger, randomized study is under way that should help
clarify the role of boost radiotherapy in the treatment of DCIS patients.
Debbie Saslow, PhD, of the American Cancer Society, says studies like this
show the importance of treating DCIS aggressively.
“Some people say that we are over-treating DCIS, and it is true that some
women may be getting more aggressive treatment than they really need,” she
tells WebMD. “We’ve been saying all along that you have to treat DCIS, because
if you don’t do anything a lot of women will end up with invasive cancer.”